tv BBC World News BBC America July 23, 2014 6:00am-7:01am EDT
hello. i'm geeta guru-murthy with "bbc world news." our top stories. the first bodies from flight mh-17 are being flown to the netherlands where a national day of mourning is being held. israel's military operation continues with more strikes, the u.n. human rights commissioners suggests israel could be committing war crimes in gaza and against children. >> 147 children have been killed in gaza over the past 16 days. they had a right to life. just like children in any other
country. the remains of the costa concordia moves to their final destination where they'll be scrapped. and the 20th commonwealth games featuring more than 4,000 athletes from right around the world begins in glasgow today. hello. the first bodies from the malaysia airlines plane that crashed in eastern ukraine are being flown to the netherlands, where a national day of mourning has been declared for the 298 people who were killed. u.s. intelligence officials say the airliner was probably shot down by mistake by pro-russian rebels. they say there is no direct evidence of russian involvement. we're still getting more details of the victims of the flight, malaysia airline steward wasn't
sp supposed to be on the flight. he swapped shifts with a colleague so he could visit his parents. in an amazing twist of fate, his wife also a flight attendant had been faced with a similar fate when she switched shifts with the flight that disappeared earlier this year. let's get more from richard galpin. >> joanna, thank you. i'm at eindhoven military base. and this country today is a country in morning, a national day of morning, first such day in the netherlands for half a century. here we are awaiting the arrival of the first bodies from that plane crash last thursday. some 40 coffins we understand. but crucially we don't know which nationalities those coffins contain because the process of formal identification
will happen once the remains reach the netherlands. as i mentioned, it is a day of national mourning and leading that will be king villain alexander and queen maxima and the dutch prime minister rutte who will be here later on. the developments mostly today have been in eastern ukraine where richard galpin is. richard? >> as you say, anita, there was a dignified, solemn ceremony here just before the plane took off. there were -- there was a guard of honor provided by ukrainian troops with four of the coffins still laid out on the tarmac, just to the back of the hercules aircraft where 16 other coffins had already been loaded. now, at the ceremony, of course, there were representatives from many of the countries who had been affected by this disaster.
several of those representatives gave some speeches, including the representative of the dutch government. of course, as we know, two-thirds of the people on board flight mh-17 were are from holland. as i say, we had a speech from the dutch representative who is also an ambassador. >> today, your journey home begins. it still will be a long journey. we have a painful identification process to go through that will take time. but the dutch government wants to assure family members and all those concerned that we want to do the identification as quickly as possible with full respect for human dignity and the individual. >> now, the flight which has taken off already is the first of what we expect to be two flights leaving from here today.
the second flight with another 20 coffins on board. and this, of course, is an ongoing process. the forensic specialists from around the world say there are 200 bodies that were brought on the train here yesterday. it is a gradual process, putting them into the coffins and then flying them out. there will be more flights over the next day or so, but certainly we have been told the expectation is this process of flying all the coffins to holland will be completed by friday. back to you, anita. >> richard, thank you. well, here in the netherlands, national buildings, their flags are flying at half-mast today. and five minutes before the two military aircraft carrying those 40 coffins arrived here in eindhoven later this afternoon, bells around the country will be
rung continuously to mark this national day of mourning. as richard was mentioning there, two-thirds of the victims of mh-17 were dutch, 193 in total. and the proportions of this tragedy are huge for this nation. this is the first national day of mourning for more than half a century. i think that gives you a sense of how deeply affected this nation is by this tragedy. as anna holligan reports. >> reporter: a serene stable nation caught up in somebody else's conflict. this shrine growing every day now marks the spot of departure, the point from which the dead departed. it started as a couple of bouquets on thursday evening. as more and more people heard about the disaster, just look at the scale of the shrine now.
it is an international hub airport, hundreds of passengers pass through the doors every day. many of them have been stopping off here to pay their respects to the passengers who were on board that flight, passengers just like them, many of them going away on holiday. if you have a look down here, you can see international nature of these tributes. the netherlands is a calm, reserved country. but a front page images have moved emotions, from shock and sadness to fury and frustration. combined with disbelief. >> since thursday, i've been thinking how horrible it must have been, the final moments of their lives when they knew the pain was going down. did they lock hands with their loved ones? did they hold their children close to their hearts?
did they look each other in the eyes, one final time, in a wordless good-bye? we will never know. >> reporter: the bodies will be flown into eindhoven. families will wait alongside the dutch king and queen. none of them will know whether the coffins will contain their relatives. the list of names of the 193 missing dutch victims was published in this morning's papers. some of the remains still lie in eastern ukraine. this dutch military facility outside the city of hilversum, they have been making preparations for the arrival of the remains. soon the eyes of the internationally affected community will be on this place. over the coming days, weeks and perhaps even months the bodies of those passengers will be driven through these gates to be
identified by forensics before they can finally be reunited with their families. this is a small nation, one that isn't accustomed to such immense misery. >> and, yes, that town of hilversum, an hour's drive from here. the population around 80,000. it lost three entire families on flight mh-17, and the son of a fourth, a huge loss for a relatively small town. but as i mentioned a little while ago, when the 40 coffins arrive back here today, we don't know whose remains those could havens coffins will contain. it is the start of a process with many, many more bodies still to be returned to the grieving families. for now, back to london. >> anita mcveigh there in eindhoven.
the other big story of course this week, that is events in israel and gaza. the u.n. human rights commissioner navi pillay said israel's action in gaza could amount to war crimes. she said the disregard for the right to life is shockingly evident and the apparent targeting of children playing on a gaza beach. >> of 147 children have been killed in gaza over the past 16 days, they had a right to life just like children in any other country. these killings raise concerns about the specter of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack. israeli children and their parents and other civilians also have a right to live without the constant fear that a rocket fired from gaza may land on their homes or their schools, killing or injuring them. >> well, the head of the united
nations children's organization unicef in gaza has told the bbc that the children in the territory are being killed at a rate of more than one an hour. since sunday, 69 children have now been killed. well, the unicef special representative for palestine is june kanugi and joins us now via skype from jerusalem. thanks very much indeed for joining us. what numbers do you have? obviously israel will accept that many people have died, many civilians have died, but unfortunately that's what happens in any conflict. >> yes. as of yesterday the numbers that we have are that 146 children have been killed and that was actually 18 in the span of 24 hours alone. children are very much bearing the brunt of the violence and, of course, this is having a terrible impact on the whole population and of course
children themselves. >> you're calling obviously for this to stop, but realistically this is part of a much bigger political process. is there anything specifically that could be done to try and safeguard the innocent civilians caught up in this? >> yes, absolutely. we are calling for every effort to be made to protect civilians, and also practically speaking we absolutely need humanitarian pauses. because what is happening is that the whole network and the provision of basic services is being disrupted. we have a situation where 70% of the gaza population, this is 1.2 million people, do not have access to safe drinking water anymore for the network. 60% of the sanitation services only are functional right now. and we have seen that 18 medical facilities have been bombed, and front line workers, health workers, three have already been
killed, three water engineers have been killed in the line of duty. and so, again, we need humanitarian causes to be able to get victims, to get survivors, to get the network functioning again for essential repairs. and this is absolutely necessary in order for the basic survival of the population of gaza. yes. >> if there were to be some kind of humanitarian pause, that means children are still in that very small area, aren't they? unless they're actually taken out, which is not going to happen without their families, difficult to see how really things are going to change unless the bombardment stops. >> and absolutely. and as you said, it is one of the most highly densely populated areas of the world. and so absolutely the violence must end. that is the number one imperative. and, of course, sorry, civilians to be protected, we have a fact that children are traumatized by
all this. they're witness to things that children should not see. and all children 6 years and above, this is the third conflict they have already had in their lifetime. they're traumatized, they have seen deaths and injuries, they have seen their homes destroyed, they're afraid of constantly -- they're not giving any rest, any respite, any sleep. we estimated that over 72,000 children are severely traumatized and in need of psychosocial support. so definitely children are bearing the brunt of the violence. and this will have a life long impact. yes. >> june, many thanks for your time. thanks. >> thank you. well, the u.s. secretary of state john kerry arrived in israel to the country's main international airport despite a 24 hour ban on american flights there. it was imposed after a rocket fired from gaza landed near the airport in tel aviv. the israeli prime minister had earlier asked mr. kerry to lift the ban that led to carriers from the other countries
imposing their own suspensions. bethany bell is at ben gurion. >> the airport is open. just we were told there are a number of flights still going in and out. we were told by an airport spokesman a few minutes ago that there are 50% fewer flights here at the moment. among the airlines still flying in, british airways, royal jordanian, the israeli carrier el al. and the mood here among the people i've been speaking to, we have been speaking to, it is fairly relaxed. people talking about, you know, annoyance that they have been delayed, but people here saying that they're not that concerned. now, the israeli aviation authority has said that ben gurion is safe for takeoff and landing. but clearly there is a great deal of concern among certainly u.s. air carriers and other european ones like lufthansa
because of this rocket which fell about a mile away from here yesterday and given what happened in ukraine, i think there is a sense of a great deal of wishing to not take too many risks at the moment. >> bethany bell there reporting from ben gurion airport in israel. the british model and tv presenter peaches geldof who was found dead in april this year had been a heroin addict, almost taking the substitute drug methadone for two and a half years. that's according to an inquest into her death currently under way. her husband told a hearing that the 25-year-old started using heroin again in february this year. he said he saw her flushing drugs away after she had hidden them in her house. her father, of course, is bob geldof, known right around the world for his charity works. her story has resonated with
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oh good. he seemed nice. express deals. priceline savings without the bidding. hello. this is "bbc world news." i'm geeta guru-murthy with the top stories this hour. the first bodies recovered from the flight mh-17 are now being flown to the netherlands where a national day of mourning is being held. and the u.n. human rights commissioner suggests israel could be committing war crimes in gaza as israel's military operation continues with more strikes. another food scare in china. it looks pretty bad. >> it does indeed. we have heard today that five employees of a chinese company accused of selling expired meat
to fast food giants were detained today by police in china. it follows food safety violations at shanghai food company which supplies global brands including mcdonald's and kfc. in recent days it emerged that shanghai foods repackaged expired beef and chicken and sold it to clients. the scare also spread to japan. another set of results in focus today in the uk. the pharmaceutical giant glaxosmithkline will open its books in a pretty tough quarter for the company since news broke of the bribery scandal that saw senior executives in china arrested. as a result, the firm's share price has been on the move. currently it is 8% lower than it was this time last year. we'll bring you those numbers later on "bbc world news." and another good quarter for apple, a 12% gain on profits from this time last year.
they raked in $7.8 billion in the three months end in june. profits were driven higher by strong iphone sales with 35 million being sold in the quarter. that's up 13%. time for a look now at the markets before we go. and we look at what is happening in europe, well, it has been a pretty difficult time of late, but at the moment the markets are looking quite positive. the london market up slightly, a slew of quite strong results from new york are offsetting any worries about ukraine and the intensifying violence in gaza. back to you. >> thank you very much. now, the biggest marine salvage operation of all time is coming to an end. the wreck of the costa concordia cruise ship being towed away from italy to be scrapped. h it hit the rock and capsized and lost 32 lives in 2012. how did they move the ship, weighing over 100,000 tons, and which is twice as big as the titanic.
well, underwater platforms were built to support the ship's weight in a operation which began almost a year ago. more than 50 giant pulling cables rotated the costa concordia into an upright position. 30 tanks were attached to the sides and filled with water. their weight combined with the help of giant winches pulled the boat upright. the water was then pumped out and replaced with air and that allowed the ship to float, ready to be towed away. quite an operation. well, of course, alan johnson is in rome, and we have seen the pictures of the costa concordia gliding away, alan. what is going to happen and how long is it all going to take now? >> you're right. of course this last phase of this really major salvage operation, the biggest the world has ever seen, is well under way. the costa concordia as you see now well out of sea, won't be long before it slips over the horizon and leaves behind it the
island where it came to grief. all this got under way under a perfect summer mediterranean conditions. ocean going tugs straining at the great weight of the ship, and very, very gradually she began to move. there was celebrations among the salvage crews, tugs sounding long and loud and fire fighting vessel sounding great arks of water high in the air, people on the harbor wall nearby bursting into applause at one point. and so the costa concordia has set off on her final voyage, surrounded by about 14 towing vessels, pollution control craft and other boats. as you see her now, she's moving through what is a major marine national park. and actually a boat out in front looking for schools of whale and dolphin which might be disturbed by this large convoy went plowing through the middle. she will ark out towards the
french island of corsica, the french authorities have been given all assurances there will be no pollution threat. and over a period of four or five days she'll head for the port city of genoa where she will be scrapped over a period of about two years. so at last the beautiful remote island of jillo has ridded itself of the rusting hulk that disfigured its shoreline and was a constant reminder of that terrible night, two and a half years ago, when more than 30 people died. >> yes, only one person's body still missing and the search goes on, the trial goes on for the captain. we'll leave it there for now. many thanks. now, after seven years of planning, the glasgow 2014 commonwealth games are about to begin. the opening ceremony features thousands of athletes from 71 nations and territories. here is a quick look at the games and how they came to be.
>> yes, we know the royal family prince charles and camilla are going to be up in scotland in the next hour or so, touring the grounds. we'll be covering the games too here on "bbc world news." back in five minutes for the full look at all the top stories. really... so our business can be on at&t's network for $175 dollars a month? yup. all five of you for $175. our clients need a lot of attention. there's unlimited talk and text. we're working deals all day. you get 10 gigabytes of data to share. what about expansion potential? add a line anytime for 15 bucks a month. low dues... great terms... let's close. introducing at&t mobile share value plans... ...with our best-ever pricing for business.
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i'm geeta guru-murthy with "bbc world news." our top stories, a national day of mourning is being held in the netherlands as the country waits for its dead. israel's military operation continues with more strikes, the u.n. human rights commissioner suggests israel could be committing war crimes in gaza and against children. and the 20th commonwealth games featuring more than 4,000 athletes from around the world begins in glasgow today.
hello. the first bodies from the malaysia airlines plane that crashed in eastern ukraine are being flown to the netherlands where a national day of mourning has been declared for the 298 people who were killed. u.s. intelligence officials say the airliner was probably shot down by mistake, by pro russian rebels. they say there is no direct evidence of russian involvement. well, of course, we're learning more are details all the time of the victims of that flight. malaysia airlines steward wasn't supposed to be on board. he swapped shifts with a colleagues to return home a day earlier to visit his parents. an extraordinary twist of fate, his wife also a flight attendant had been saved from a similar fate when she switched shifts from mh-370 which vanished en route back in march. another victim on board was a
german aerospace engineer, traveling to australia to begin an internship with ibm. she was the founder of a high tech startup based in the netherlands. they describe her as a brightly, outspoken, ambitious and incredibly motivated person. and tambi jiee and family, malaysian, the whole family have been lost as they were returning from holiday. their eldest son about to start university. some of the faces that we have seen, of course, in the last few days, we know that their lives have all been lost in this tragic accident. and, today, a significant day because many of the bodies are now being taken out of ukraine, one plane has flown out to the netherlands where there is a day of mourning being held across the country. and the dutch king and queen will be in eindhoven with the
relatives of some of the 298 people on board. from there, anna holligan reports. first, we're going to bring you a few words from the dutch government representative who was in kharkiv airport. there was a brief farewell ceremony, very moving ceremony. let's listen to what he had to say. >> today, your journey home begins. it still will be a long journey. we have a painful identification process to go through that will take time. but the dutch government wants to assure family members and all those concerned that we want to do the identification as quickly as possible with full respect for human dignity and the individual. >> a few words there from a representative of the dutch government. let's now go to anna holligan who is in eindhoven for us. >> reporter: a serene stable nation, caught up in somebody
else's conflict. this shrine growing every day, now marks the spot of departure, the point from which the dead departed. this started as a couple of bouquets on thursday evening and as more and more people heard about the disastdisaster, just t the scale of the shrine now. it is an international hub airport, hundreds of passengers pass through the doors every day. many of them have been stopping off here to pay their respects to the passengers who were on board that flight, passengers just like them, many of them going away on holiday. if you have a look down here, you can see international nature of these tributes. the netherlands is a calm, reserved country. but a front page images have
moved emotions, from shock and sadness to fury and frustration. combined with disbelief. >> since thursday, i've been thinking how horrible it must have been, the final moments of their lives when they knew the pain was going down. did they lock hands with their loved ones? did they hold their children close to their hearts? did they look each other in the eyes, one final time, in a wordless good-bye? we will never know. >> reporter: the bodies will be flown into eindhoven. families will wait alongside the dutch king and queen. none of them will know whether the coffins will contain their relatives. the list of names of the 193 missing dutch victims was published in this morning's papers. some of the remains still lie in
eastern ukraine. this dutch military facility outside the city of hilversum, they have been making preparations for the arrival of the remains. soon the eyes of the internationally affected community will be on this place. over the coming days, weeks and perhaps even months the bodies of those passengers will be driven through these gates to be identified by forensics before they can finally be reunited with their families. this is a small nation, one that isn't accustomed to such immense misery. >> and anna holligan there in eindhoven. we can see dutch flags flying at half-mast on buildings and boats in amsterdam today. the country observing a day of mourning for all the crash victims. and around 200 of the almost 300 people on board were dutch. so this is a huge tragedy for
the nation. well, of course, the site itself, the people there have been absolutely shaken by what's happened. we talked to some of the villagers in eastern ukraine who have been holding memorial services for the victims. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: we want to testify to the entire world, he says, that we're not terrorists.
>> that memorial service in eastern ukraine. we're going to leave that news story and move to our other main news, an event in gaza and israel. and the in the last half an hour, a foreign worker has been killed by mortar fire from gaza. police say he was struck in the eshkol region where he was working. we don't have more details of who that was. we'll bring this to you as soon as we can. but the u.n. children's organization unicef has also told the bbc today that children in gaza are dying at a rate of more than one an hour. well, the u.n. human rights commissioner navi pillay also told the organization's human rights council that israel's action in gaza could amount to war crimes. she said the disregard for the right to life is shockingly evident and the apparent targeting of children playing on a gaza beach.
>> over 147 children have been killed in gaza over the past 16 days. they had a right to life, just like children in any other country. their killings raised concerns about the specter and the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack. israeli children and their parents and other civilians also have a right to live without the constant fear that a rocket fired from gaza may land on their homes or their schools, killing or injuring them. >> well, the american secretary of state john kerr ary he r ker in israel. he's holding talks alongside ban ki-moon, the u.n. secretary-general, with the president of the palestinian authority, mahmoud abbas and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. meanwhile, israel has called for the resumption of flights to tel aviv after u.s. and european
airlines suspended their services. the u.s. federal aviation authority introduced the 24-hour ban after a rocket from gaza landed near tel aviv's main airport. two people were injured. bethany bell is at ben gurion airport for us. >> reporter: the airport is open, just we were told, you know, there are a number of flights still going in and out. we were told by an airport spokesman a few minutes ago that they're 50% fewer flights here at the moment. among the airlines still flying in is british airways, royal jordanian, the israeli carrier el al and the mood here among the people i've been speaking to, i've been speaking to, it is fairly relaxed. people talking about annoyance that they have been delayed, that people here saying that they're not that concerned. now, the israeli aviation authority has said that ben gurion is safe for takeoff and
landing, but clearly there is a great deal of concern among certainly u.s. air carriers and other european ones like lufthansa, because of this rocket which fell about a mile away from here yesterday. and given what's happened in ukraine, i think there is a sense of a great deal of wishing to not take too many risks at the moment. >> bethany bell for us there at ben gurion airport. well, earlier, israel's president shimon peres criticized the flight ban. >> the airlines have suspended flights. the real answer to the danger of flying is not to stop the flights, but to stop the rockets which are endangering the flights. if any softness will be shown,
it is endangering in my judgment the air traffic in the entire world. >> shimon peres there. 18 palestinians have been killed in fighting today, bringing the total number of casualties to almost 650. more than 30 israelis have also been killed so far. in gaza, an update on the violence there. >> reporter: overnight, the fighting did continue into a 16th day. there were people killed in the southern town of khan younis. we heard more shelling up to the northeast of gaza city. this is where israel says that it is targeting tunnels used by palestinian militants to launch cross border raids into its territory and also restore the rockets launched into its territory. but at the same time perhaps some little signs of encouragement and hope on the palestinian side, particularly after this meeting of the palestine liberation
organization. it is an umbrella body for the palestinian factions that met in ramallah late yesterday. and basically is headed by the palestinian president mahmoud abbas. he and other members of the plo came out afterwards backing basically the central demands of hamas for a cease-fire with israel. this really strengthens the palestinian position when it comes to going back to this egyptian effort to mediate some kind of truce and really what they're supporting in particular is the idea there should be the release of many of these palestinian prisoners from israeli jails and also an end to the very tight border restrictions proposed by israel and egypt. they're looking to cairo to reopen the border crossing. at moment, we haven't heard a reply from the hamas leadership to this suggestion and what the palestinian president mahmoud abbas is also saying, there should be a truce followed by five days of negotiations on
these crucial issues. >> yolande knell there. there has been a response to navi pillay's words that israel might be committing war crimes from the israeli ambassador, speaking at the u.n. human rights council in geneva. he said that israel has the right to defend itself against attacks by hamas, saying hamas is committing war crimes when it fires rockets, and missiles indiscriminately at israeli towns and villages. it is launching tunnels from gaza into israel trying to attack villages, and there can be no moral symmetry between a terrorist aggressor and a democracy defending itself. so clearly the diplomacy has some way to go. stay with us here on "bbc world news." much more to come. the building so infamous, it appeared in a spy drama and why a thousand families are made to leave it. we'll have more coming up. you drop 40 grand on a new set of wheels, then... wham! a minivan t-bones you.
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this is "bbc world news." i'm geeta guru-murthy with the latest headlines for you. the first bodies recovered from flight mh-17 are being flown to the netherlands where a national day of mourning is being held. and the u.n. human rights commissioner suggests israel could be committing war crimes in gaza, as israel's military operation continues with more strikes and israeli ambassador strongly refuted that saying hamas is committing war crimes. more now, of course, on our main story. the events surrounding the disappearance of crashing of the malaysia flight. diplomatic repercussions are being discussed following that shooting down. in germany, politicians are now calling for moscow be to be prevented from hosting the next football world cup in 2018. they say this would be more effective than imposing economic
sanctions. daniel mcginnis is live for us in berlin. is it angela merkel supporters saying this, because the links between germany and russia are very strong, aren't they? >> well, that's right. there are deep trade and energy links between germany and russia. and what we have seen today is some leading politicians in germany are saying that they want to stop russia holding the 2018 soccer world cup, saying that unless moscow is more cooperative in solving the crisis in ukraine, that it would be outrageous to hold this international event there. but some of the politicians are from different parties. its leaders within germany's green party, also one of the leaders of angela merkel's christian democrats, so across the board, however, there is opposition to the suggestion, germany's economy minister has said it is far too early to
discuss things like this. but they say here in germany that about 60% of germans would support such a move, because a lot of people here feel economic sanctions are unpopular, will damage the german economy and will not be effective. this be could be more a way of stopping or getting moscow to be more cooperative. >> very emotive day, perhaps to have this discussion. i want to let people know we're hearing that the second flight with more coffins of those killed in the plane crash has now taken off from kharkiv airport. we have been getting pictures of those coffins being loaded on to the planes, flown back to the netherlands. and the whole question of how much to antagonize the bear, the russian bear, of course, discussed a lot in the last few days. and given other global pressures, not least in iraq, syria, the middle east, iran, how do you do business globally if the west, if europe, if the united states can't work with
russia? long-term politicians everywhere have to look at that. this is much more than just football, isn't it? >> well, that's right. and i think this debate is just showing the debate over football. israeli just showing how much of a turning point the plane crashes has. until last week, the feeling in germany that a lot of people here attempt at least to try to understand moscow's position. that patience is now evaporating because people are very shocked by what happened, not only the crash, but also they feel -- people here feel that moscow hasn't done enough to ensure that the site itself is aloud full access and that an investigation can be thoroughly and promptly carried out. so even a lot of people here who might have had sympathy for moscow's position says when it comes to crimea no longer have that feeling for russia. >> we saw in your first -- the pictures, the eu leaders.
so many people say the economic crisis of angela merkel has brought germany and helped bring europe through and has been paramount. is she actually going to risk that growth, that success as some people see it, by antagonizing russia now regardless of what happened in the last week. can she afford to? >> well, that is the debate here. it is very difficult to know which way she can go, because on the one side, clearly she doesn't want to jeopardize germany's economic growth. germany, after all, is the economic powerhouse of europe. on the other hand, though, there is growing pressure on the german government to take the problems in ukraine seriously. no -- there is no call for military action in ukraine. there are very few calls for industry wide sanctions, but now it seems that they're calling for public opinion polls. the majority of germans do favor some sort of economic sanctions against russia. this is quite new because until
quite recently economic sanctions were very unpopular here. business leaders were lobbying quite fiercely saying against them saying they would really damage germany's economy. but since last week's plane crash, growing feeling here that even if germany does suffer from economic damage from the fallout of economic sanctions, there are a growing number of people here who are prepared to take that on the chin. >> lots of countries, france and the uk, not exempt from the debate on what to do about russia. damian, for now, many thanks inde indeed. venezuelan soldiers are removing more than a thousand families from a 45 story building that dominates the capital caracas. over the years, the building named the tower of david, developed a notorious reputation for housing criminal gangs. the residents say it has become a safe haven. >> reporter: it is known as the vertical slum. the tower of david sits right in the heart of caracas.
it was supposed to be venezuela's answer to wall street, but the banking center failed to materialize when funding ran out in 1994. instead, 3,000 squat ters have been living across the 40 floors. for almost a decade, the city's poorest called this home. this week, a mass eviction is under way. these are the first of more than 1100 families to leave. the government minister overseeing the program says it is not a forced eviction and it is for their own good. >> translator: anyone can see the grave danger this presented over the years. it is extremely risky. children, adults and cars have fallen from the tower. urgent intervention is needed. >> reporter: walls are missing. there are no lifts, and water and power supplies are erratic. but it evolved into a commune. now families are being relocated to the town of qual, south of the capital. venezuelan soldiers and officials are assisting the
process, though not everyone wants to go. >> translator: i didn't want to move so far away. there aren't any job opportunities there. and i work here in caracas. i don't like this. really, i don't. >> reporter: it is all part of the flagship policy called the great housing mission. initiated by the late leader hugo chavez, intended to help the poor. tatiana lives here and is one of the many excited about moving. she points out the damage from sewage coming in. >> translator: i'm hoping this week god willing they find somewhere for me. >> reporter: many in caracas consider this a base for criminal gangs. its reputation so notorious, it is featured in the u.s. tv drama "homeland." but with eviction under way, what is thought to be the world's tallest slum will soon just be another empty building. katerina mon, bbc news. >> let's hope so. after seven years of planning, the glasgow 2014
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